After announcing its first autonomous shuttle deployment in Portugal on Oct. 10, NAVYA reports a platoon demonstration of two Navya Autonom shuttles beginning Oct. 17 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, a first for a U.S. airport.
Navya, a French company specializing in the provision of autonomous mobility systems and related services, has made no secret of its ambition to become the reference player in Level 4 autonomous mobility systems for the transportation of passengers and goods.
The Autonom Shuttle, its main development focus, is dedicated to passenger transport. More than 200 units have been sold in 25 countries as of December 31, 2021.
It was recently tested in White Bear Lake, Minnoseta, and Inverness, Scotland. Last week, following a call for tenders from the Portuguese city of Aveiro, the Arma shuttle was deployed on the occasion of Aveiro Tech Week, the city’s flagship event.
The test drive at JFK airport
The demonstration was part of a call for innovation from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages all airports in the two states, including JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International Airport.
This experiment is the first step in what could become a broader initiative to use pooled autonomous shuttle fleets to better connect passengers to their destinations in an airport environment.
Rick Cotton, Executive Director of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, explains:
“Port Authority has been focused on cutting-edge technology advancements, and we are pleased to participate in this unique exploration of the use of autonomous vehicles in an airport application. Our innovation group is also in contact with other transit and airport agencies across the country to establish best practices in the use of autonomous vehicles to provide 21st century transportation options in the region.”
A first at a U.S. airport
The two Navya shuttles will be deployed for a four-day period from October 17 to October 21, 2022, in a pilot project that will take place in a specific airport parking lot in an area closed to the public. They will perform demonstrations in different configurations, including driving in a platoon.
The autonomous shuttles, equipped with eight lidar sensors among other things, will be operated at all times by an onboard safety operator and supervised by Navya’s control center in Michigan.
Sophie Desormière, NAVYA’s Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, concludes:
“We are delighted with this airport trial, which represents a first step in our collaboration with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Navya shuttles are adapted to a wide range of use cases, and they are well suited to airports where we provide solutions not only for the transportation of people with our shuttles but also for the transportation of goods with our Tract. This demonstration is an opportunity to show once again the power of our hypervision technology. We have already demonstrated our mastery of remote and platooned fleet management in France and we are taking it one step further by doing so now in the U.S.”